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Synonym: Chinese gooseberry

botanical name: Actinidia deliciosa



The kiwifruit is native to China. Around 1900 kiwi seeds were brought to New Zealand and from these came what we know today as the kiwi. They were first cultivated commercially in the 1930s. At that time they were still known as Chinese gooseberries, but it was not until the fruits were renamed, for reasons of marketing, after the New Zealand bird kiwi that they became a commercial success. The ruffled brown plumage of this bird very much resembles the furry brown skin of the kiwifruit.


In Germany in the 1970s, kiwis were to be found only here and there in specialty fruit shops. Today the kiwi is available everywhere. Hardly any other fruit has achieved popularity and renown so quickly. The kiwis sold in Germany stem in large part from New Zealand and Italy.



Kiwis are available throughout the year.


Appearance, taste, characteristics

Kiwis are oval and egg-shaped and belong to the berry fruits. Beneath the thin, furry, brown skin is the pulp, which is green with a white area in the middle. Here are also the many edible black seeds. Kiwis taste tart. Their flavour is frequently described as a mixture of gooseberries, strawberries and melon.


Strictly speaking, only the kiwi variety Actinidia chinensis can be termed Chinese gooseberries. They grow chiefly in southwestern China. A multiple hybrid based on this variety is the gold kiwifruit that appeared in the 1990s. It differs from the other sorts in that it has yellow pulp with less acidity and tastes sweeter. In addition, it has almost double the amount of vitamin C. The flavour is a mixture of kiwi and gooseberry. Outwardly it can be recognized by a hard evagination at the upper end.



Kiwis are characterized by a high content of vitamin C. One hundred grams of kiwi - one kiwi weighs between 60 and 120 g - supply almost three fourths of the daily requirement for an adult.


100 g contain:


Kiwifruit, fresh

Energy (kcal)


Water (g)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrates (g)


Fibre (g)


Vitamin C (mg)


Vitamin A (RE) (µg)


Folic acid (µg)


Potassium (mg)


Sodium (mg)


Calcium (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Iron (mg)



Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Kiwis are harvested while still unripe, since they continue to ripen after they are picked. If you want to know whether a kiwi is ripe, see whether it yields to light pressure. Kiwis can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Unripe fruits are best kept at room temperature so that they can continue to ripen. Ethylene-rich fruits nearby, such as apples or bananas, will accelerate the ripening process.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

For eating fresh, it is recommended to cut the kiwi in half with a knife and spoon out the pulp. For fruit salads and decorations you can peel the fruit and cut it into slices or pieces. Kiwis are suitable as a cake topping and for making jam.


You have surely noticed that kiwis give milk products a bitter taste. This is due to the proteolytic enzyme they contain, actinidine. It prevents gelatine from stiffening and makes milk sour. You can get around this by first pouring hot water over the peeled kiwis and letting them steep briefly.

Because of the enzyme it contains, kiwifruit is used in slices to tenderize various kinds of food, e.g. meat.


Kiwis are also suited as an addition to a savoury salad, such as poultry salad, or as a decoration for cold-cut platters. The food industry makes juices, soft drinks and liqueurs from kiwis.





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